Do you know how precious you are to God? He created you, redeemed you, calls you by name, protects and comforts you. You are precious in His sight; honored and loved for all eternity! (Isaiah 43:4) Jesus used three parables to express how much He loves His people in Luke 15. Today we will concentrate on the Parable of the Lost Coin.
Have you ever lost something you considered priceless? I have. It wasn’t priceless monetarily, but it was in sentiment. I lost my Mom’s silver bracelet.
She had unexpectedly passed away and from then on, I always wore the bracelet that she had worn daily. It was my comfort. It was a tangible memory of her; as if I had a piece of her with me.
One night after returning from a swim at the Y with my granddaughters, I noticed it was missing. I tore through my swim bag, car, and clothing and came up empty.
We called the Y and begged someone to look in the locker room and shower area for it. I was frantic. This was irreplaceable. I looked everywhere in my house, my bed, in the laundry. It never turned up.
I still keep a lookout for it to this day; hoping the lost will be found.
Parables in Luke
Jesus tells three Parables in the book of Luke about the importance of finding the lost. This Parable tells the story of the woman who lost a valuable coin.
It comes in the middle of two other Parables Jesus told about the lost: the Parable of the Lost Sheep, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I’m more familiar with those two stories, but not the story of a woman and the lost coin.
The three small verses in this Parable hold lessons we can treasure about how irreplaceable and loved we are by God.
The Woman and the Lost Coin
We find the story of the lost coin in Luke Chapter 15:8-10.
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Why does one coin mean so much to the woman who lost it?
Losing the monetary value of the coins would have been a grave misfortune. They could be used as financial support if needed, and for a small village family, this may be the only cash/savings they owned. The value of each coin was worth about a day’s wages.
Additionally, according the Jewish culture, women received ten silver coins on their wedding day as a gift from their groom¹. They wore these valuable coins as a necklace or a headband-like ornament.
It would be like our modern version of a wedding ring. It was a gift from her groom and had high sentimental value. The coins also showed the woman’s status as a faithful wife.
No wonder it had great worth! And no wonder she was desperate to find this hidden coin.
The Lost Coin
Homes in these ancient times were dim with no windows as we know them; they were usually narrow slits in the walls. Their doorways were low and little illumination came through them either.
The woman in the Parable lights a lamp to search carefully and thoroughly. As she sweeps the rock and dirt floors of the entire house, she listens intently for the clink of a metal coin.
And then, after much frantic searching- success! I can almost feel the relief flood in as she picks it up off the floor and holds it up to the light.
Her joy and relief are so great, she calls her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. They would understand the meaning of losing, and finding this special, irreplaceable gift.
Heaven Rejoices Over One Sinner
The words that Jesus used to tie his parable of the lost coin with His children melt my heart:
“There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ♥
Imagine angels, who live in the presence of God in Heaven; surrounded by glory we can only imagine.
Now imagine the news coming in of another lost soul being saved (I’m so curious about how they hear the news! Do trumpets sound? Is there an announcement?)
The angels pause in their worship to stop and rejoice- with every single “lost coin” found!
Think of it- they live in the magnificent presence of God in a realm we can barely fathom. Yet they stop whatever they are doing and rejoice when lost sinners repent; their eternal life is sealed! Halleluiah!
The Parable of the Lost Coin Meaning
So what is the point of the Parable?
The woman’s rejoicing over the found coin gives us a picture of our own eternal salvation.
We all have fallen and are lost in the darkness. God searches for us with great determination. Nothing will stop Him.
Finding the Lost
The Light of the World shines into the darkness to find us. He lovingly picks us up out of the dirt and cleanses us thoroughly.
We are forever and securely His. The celebration begins!
God’s love for you is so great that even if you were the ONE LOST COIN, He would diligently search for you. What good news! The Heavens would erupt in joy and thanksgiving.
God is not content with nine coins. He desires all ten. We are so precious to Him that He goes above and beyond to bring us into a relationship with Him.
2 Peter 3:9 (CEV): “The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.”
1 John 3:1a: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
God Rejoices Over You
Jesus ties together the rejoicing and worth of the one lost coin with the rejoicing and worth of a single saved soul. Just as the woman rejoiced over finding her lost coin, God rejoices over every sinner who repents.
He wants us to know just how much He loves us and what joy we bring Him! We find other instances where God rejoices over us:
“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5.
“He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.
Reflections on the Lost Coin Story
Do you see your worth and the incredible value you have in God’s eyes? The world bombards us daily to say we need diets, clothing, vacations, or anti-wrinkle cream to feel better and live our best life.
But the God who created you wants you to know that He is all you need. He gave everything for you. God sees you as you are right now and says “I love you- you are my masterpiece!”
Do you feel secure in His hands? You are precious to Him. He goes to the ends of the earth for you. He knows your future and His plans for you are good. (Jeremiah 29:11)
How do you think God feels when we are too busy or pull back from our relationship with Him? Have you ever experienced a sudden loss of communication from a close friend or family member? How did it make you feel?
Does Jesus’ compassionate heart change the way you view others? God loves each soul He creates. Do you see those who are culturally or socially different from you as Jesus sees them? How can we best represent Jesus to those who are “different” from ourselves?
How diligent are you in seeking the lost and pointing them to Jesus? The woman with the lost coin is a great example to us. I’ll be meditating on these questions this week…
- Life Application Study Bible. New International Version, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois, and Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1991.
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
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